CSU Bakersfield Men's Basketball 2017 NIT Tournament Capsule


CSU Bakersfield Roadrunners

WAC (21-8, 12-2)

A year after making their first ever NCAA Tournament appearance, CSU Bakersfield won their first WAC regular season title. While regular WAC powerhouse New Mexico State occasionally stumbled, the Roadrunners just kept playing amazing defense and winning close games.
Big Wins: 11/22 Fresno State (71-63), 2/4 at Grand Canyon (65-62), 2/9 New Mexico State (72-53)
Bad Losses: 11/25 at Wright State (64-68), 11/27 vs North Dakota (55-57), 12/27 at UCSB (60-62)
Coach: Rod Barnes
Why They Can Surprise:
Coach Rod Barnes will make sure his team can stick around with anybody thanks to their stifling defense. The team allows just 62.2 points per game and the opposition shoots 37.3 percent from the floor, which ranks third in all of college basketball. Everybody on this team plays great defense. Players like 6-10 center Moataz Aly and 6-6 forward Matt Smith can swat away shots, while the backcourt, most notably Damiyne Durham, Dedrick Basile and Justin Pride, will get plenty of steals. The defensive intensity can sustain for 40 minutes since there is so much depth on this Bakersfield team. Coach Barnes has no problem going ten deep and he surely will in the postseason too. Players like James Suber and Justin Pride may not be major scoring threats off the bench, but Suber is tough on the glass and Pride can set up his teammates. Even when the Roadrunners go deep down their bench, there is not much of a drop in production and everybody knows their roles.
Why They Can Disappoint:
The defense will keep CSUB in just about every game, but the offense has to get them over the top and the four players who average in double figures carry the bulk of the expectations. Jaylin Airington is a dynamic 6-4 forward who averages 14.5 points per game. He can do a bit of everything and will take a majority of the big shots for the Roadrunners. Durham is by far the most prolific three-point shooter. He has not been all that consistent though and it is crucial that he remains a shooting threat if this team wants to make things interesting in the tournament. Basile can hit some outside shots, but he is much more dangerous attacking the basket and finding one of his teammates or finishing himself. Smith is the interior scoring threat and it is important for him to play tough offensively against much bigger competition in order to create time and space for the shooters and slashers. But the lack of size is a big concern. The Roadrunners stayed close against Arizona, SMU and BYU, but never picked up a big non-conference victory. Beating NMSU is nice, but life is tougher outside of the WAC.
Probable Starters:
Dedrick Basile, Senior, Guard, 11.7 ppg, 3.2 apg
Brent Wrapp, Junior, Guard, 4.5 ppg, 3.6 apg
Jaylin Airington, Senior, Forward, 14.5 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 2.1 apg
Matt Smith, Senior, Forward, 10.8 ppg, 6.1 rpg
Moataz Aly, Junior, Center, 2.5 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 1.7 bpg
Key Role Players:
Fallou Ndoye, Junior, Center, 3.4 ppg, 2.9 rpg
Shon Briggs, Junior, Forward, 6.2 ppg, 4.7 rpg
Damiyne Durham, Sophomore, Guard, 13.2 ppg
Justin Pride, Senior, Guard, 3.2 ppg, 2.4 apg
James Suber, Junior, Forward, 1.0 ppg, 3.9 rpg
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 71.2 (226th in nation, 5th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 62.2 (13, 1)
Field-Goal Percentage: 44.8 (150, 2)
Field-Goal Defense: 37.3 (3, 1)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.3 (269, 7)  
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 34.1 (219, 3)
Free-Throw Percentage: 62.8 (341, 7)
Rebound Margin: 4.8 (46, 2)
Assists Per Game: 14.9 (85, 5)
Turnovers Per Game: 14.9 (321, 6)
Recent Postseason Appearances:
2016    NCAA Round of 64 loss to Oklahoma
*all team stats through 3/5